Finding our purpose is something that drives many of us. We’re on a quest for significance and we have a desire to know that how we are living our lives and spending our days is contributing to a greater good.
There are many of us who are blessed with jobs that give us a sense of fulfillment. We feel that our work is tied to a larger mission. There are also many of us who go to work every day searching for meaning. We want to feel a deeper sense of joy and fulfillment, but we turn up empty. We spend the bulk of our days — 40 or more hours a week — at work. According to the Business Insider, the average person spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime. So, it’s no wonder that we often believe that what we do for a living must also fulfill our purpose in life. But, our jobs or what we do for a living is not our purpose.
God designed our work as a way for us to glorify HIM. So, our purpose does not come from the work that we do. But rather, our purpose is manifested in how we go about doing our work. Our purpose is what we bring to our jobs every day.
God has blessed each of us with gifts, talents, skills, and abilities. He expects us to put them to work for his glory. A good example in the Bible is the Parable of the Talents. We can find the Parable in two places in the Bible — first in Matthew 25:14-30 and again in Luke 19:11–27.
In the Parable of the Talents, a wealthy man is heading out on a trip. Before he leaves, he gives three of his servants money (“talents”). He gives five talents to the first servant, two talents to the second servant, and one talent to the third servant. The first two servants invest the money they were entrusted with and double their money. But, the third servant buries his talent and does not make a profit. The master is pleased with the first two servants, but he is angered by the third servant. Similarly, God is not pleased when He blesses us with gifts, talents, skills, and abilities that we do not nurture and put to work where He has planted us.
If you work in a toxic workplace or in an environment where your contributions are not recognized, you may feel discouraged or frustrated. You may even stop putting your best foot forward because you believe it’s a waste of time. But in Colossians 3:23, the Bible tells us that whatever we do, we should work at it with all our hearts, as though we are working for the Lord, and not for humans.
Today, I want to encourage you to think about how you can glorify God at work so that you can manifest your purpose. Here are some scriptures to get you started:
- Commit your work to HIM (Proverbs 16:3)
- Work hard and with enthusiasm (Ephesians 6:6)
- Be fair in your business dealings (Proverbs 16:11)
- Do everything without grumbling or arguing (Philippians 2:14)
- Help others in need (Acts 20:35)
To wrap up, remember that rather than looking for meaning and purpose in our work, we should consider what it is that we bring to our work to make it meaningful and purposeful. In other words, purpose does not come from our jobs — we bring purpose to the work we do. Whatever we put our hand to — whether it’s at home, church, work, or community — God has given us unique talents and skills. Once we identify those talents and skills, it’s our responsibility to put them to work wherever we are regardless of the environment.
How can you glorify God at work this week?
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